Intercultural communication focuses on how powwows build a complex system of inter-tribal respect and techniques that enable inter-tribal understanding (Heth 1992). Some anthropologists, according to Koskoff (2005), also deal with the themes of intertribal support, pan-Indianism, and diverse identity.There is unfortunately insufficient literature on Native American powwows and there is no scholarship which deals with the entire intricacy of powwows and their function in Native America. Even though there are more and more scholarly works proclaiming powwows of Native America and taking into account occasions, and there are currently several accurate children’s literature dedicated to the images and sounds of the powwows and the participants, and there are a number of pictures which comprise the issues of the subject (Ellis & Lassiter 2005), there is still inadequate systematic and critical literature on the issue.As stated by Toelken (1991) in his work Ethnic Selection and Intensification in the Native American Powwow (as cited in Stern & Cicala 1991, 137): “Perhaps because their participants seem to be having fun instead of playing to the white stereotype of Indian stoicism… the contemporary intertribal powwow, an increasingly popular vernacular dance expression among Native Americans, has not been given much attention by scholars, even though it has become one of the most common articulations of ‘Indianness’ among Indians today.As the language of Kiowa keeps on weakening in its commonplace usage, a song is surfacing as a leading representation for expressing the identity and legacy of the Kiowa people. However, a song cannot be deprived of its storyline perspective; specifically, for numerous Kiowa singers, narrative is entirely important for interpreting songs (May & Hood 1983). Without a narrative, a song is only a cacophony of sound; nevertheless, with a narrative, sound symbolizes an evocative past and recollection put into life through songs (May & Hood 1983). Hence, for Kiowa people, to communicate a song is also to communicate a narrative, and consequently, the procedure of interpreting a song requires the interpretation of the narrative.The storytelling performance illuminates and explains this sung realm of sound that Kiowa people have, by tradition, referred to as ‘daw-gyah’ or ‘catching power’ (Swann 2004, 350). One good example of a narrative that strongly involves
Curtis, N. The Indian’s Book. Dover Publications, 1968.
Ellis, C. & L. Lassiter. Powwow. University of Nebraska Press, 2005.
Heth, C. Native American dance: ceremonies and social traditions. National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, with Starwood Pub., 1992.
Koskoff, E. Music Cultures in the United States: An Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2005.
May, E. & M. Hood. Musics of Many Cultures: An Introduction. London: University of California Press, 1983.
Stern, S. & J.A. Cicala. Creative ethnicity: symbols and strategies of contemporary ethnic life. Utah State University Press, 1991.
Swann, B. Voices from Four Directions: Contemporary Translations of the Native Literatures of North America. Bison Books, 2004.
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